PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, NOV. 6 -- Gunmen shot at two party headquarters and a presidential candidate's home early today, the fourth day of violence that appears designed to stop elections scheduled for Nov. 29.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, president of the military-dominated ruling junta, promoted himself today from Army chief of staff to commander in chief of the armed forces. The junta has governed since dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier fled the country Feb. 7, 1986.
"Nobody knows what it means," a U.S. Embassy official said of Namphy's change in title. "We have no reason to believe he has changed his announced intention to be out of the palace one hour after Feb. 7, 1988, or his allegiance to the constitution."
A new president is to assume power on that date, exactly two years after Duvalier's flight to France ended three decades of family dictatorship.
Gunfire riddled the headquarters of centrist presidential candidates Marc Bazin and Leslie Manigat early today, and shots were fired at the home of Gregoire Eugene, another centrist candidate. Eugene's watchman was wounded in the knee, and Eugene's car was damaged.
Bazin, Manigat and Eugene publicly endorsed the nine-member independent Electoral Council's disqualification of 12 presidential candidates this week because of their close ties to Jean-Claude Duvalier or his father, Francois Duvalier.
Clovis Desinor, the most prominent of those disqualified, denied any involvement in the shooting and arson attacks on the council and its members. Asked whether his recent statements had encouraged supporters to commit such actions, he said, "No! We are not assassins."